Sunday, March 27, 2016

Review: Truly, Madly, Sweetly by Kira Archer

Truly, Madly, Sweetly by Kira Archer
Series: Sweet Love, Book 1
Publisher: Entangled: Lovestruck
Genre: Contemporary Romance
ISBN: 9781633755727
Release Date: April 4, 2016
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Sugar and spice and love that’s oh-so nice…

An inherited parking spot. That’s all it took to make Natalie Moran’s food truck dreams come true. But her dream space is attached to a bakery inherited by someone else—drop dead gorgeous Eric Schneider, a financial consultant who wouldn’t know a cupcake from a cannoli. And he wants to buy Nat out, no matter what she has to say about it.

Eric’s determined to build his own business, but he needs the super cute klutz with the cupcake truck to help. If Nat will teach him the basics of running a bakery, he’ll give her free kitchen time. Except…neither expects the heat burning between them or the possibility that their arrangement might become permanent.

When it all blows up, Nat is convinced his actions mean betrayal. It’s up to Eric to regain her trust and show her he’s a man who is truly, madly in love with her, before she disappears from his life forever.

An energetic baker, a handsome businessman with a sweet tooth, a quirky meet-cute, and a little matchmaking from beyond the grave – Truly, Madly, Sweetly has all the elements of a cute and fun romance. Unfortunately, Kira Archer’s first Sweet Love story left a sour taste in my mouth.

When baker Natalie Moran inherits the perfect parking space from a kindly woman, she doesn’t expect that the man who inherits the bakery the spot is attached to – sexy businessman Eric Schneider – to decide to quit his job and start a bakery. Eric knows nothing about baking or running a bakery, so what does Nat – a hardworking woman putting all her time and money into growing her mobile cupcake business – do? She shoves almost her entire operation onto the shoulders of her best friend while working her butt off to renovate and set up Eric’s bakery, and also teach the man how to bake. For me, it took a herculean effort to suspend disbelief that any person in Nat’s situation can afford to be that careless with their own business just to get some free baking time in a kitchen. However, I could have gone along with this plan because Nat came across as the sweet and overly generous type. At least, I could have gone along with it if it weren’t for Eric.

It’s been a long time since I’ve come across a romance hero who has zero redeeming qualities. Eric decides on a whim that he’s going to quit his job and start a bakery, even though he knows nothing about baking, which is illogical, but again, I can go along with it for the sake of the story. What grated on my nerves was that he was so condescending toward Nat, assuming that being a professional baker is so easy that anyone could learn it in a day. He uses Nat, then is distrustful of her but never has the guts to actually ask her why she’s letting him suck up all her time. This was only the beginning of my problems with Eric. Despite being an adult, successful in his job, and living on his own, he drops everything to come running whenever his demanding mommy calls him (which is often). He continues to do this throughout the book, to the point where I never believed he’d be able to stand up for himself. The final nail in the coffin was Eric’s casual sexism. Despite being an adult living in a major city, apparently all women are the same – demanding, manipulative, shallow users who conform to some outdated sexist stereotype. To be fair, aside from Nat and her best friend, most of the women in the story are portrayed this way. When the hero is knocked off his feet by the fact that a female can actually enjoy an incredibly popular action flick, you know there’s a problem. By the end of the book, I felt like Nat would be better off cutting her losses instead of ending up with Eric.

Truly, Madly, Sweetly wasn’t the book for me. I had a number of issues with the story, the pacing, and the characters, but I don’t wish to belabor the point. I haven’t read any other books of Ms. Archer’s, so I don’t know if this story is a good example of her writing style. I might try a different book of hers in the future, but I’ll be passing on the rest of the Sweet Love series.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.